I've never claimed to be an expert in the sport of boxing. I'm clearly a fan, and a young one at that.
Young in age, but always a fan. I watch every fight I can get my eyes on, and have done so since I was old enough to work a remote control.
I always loved the power and speed, the Mike Tysons and Zab Judahs of the sport. As I grew older I began to respect the smarter boxers, the Bernard Hopkins types, guys who find a way to win by any means necessary.
But where does Floyd Mayweather fit in?
He has the blazing speed, but he doesn't throw a ton of combos or jabs. He's smart as hell, I doubt he'd be undefeated if he weren't.
So let's go back 10 years or so.
I was the hugest Mayweather fan, for the obvious reasons.
Then I noticed something—he was fighting nobodies. He dodged the best fighters while at the top of their game. He didn't seem to care about fighting for a belt, or even care about a weight class.
That wasn't just it though.
I started to notice how the refs worked the fights he was in—always breaking up any exchange when the fighters were in close quarters—allowing him to lead and use his elbow/forearm (as the picture above shows)—enabling him to clinch and hold on to a fighter as if it were his mother.
Before his last fight, I noticed Kenny Bayless was the referee. I immediately wanted to retract my prediction, remembering other fights he had worked.
Bayless is an extremely active ref and usually breaks up any and everything close to a hold. He told Shane if he saw any holding, he would issue a "hard warning."
Shane and his trainer countered with a suggestion that Bayless watch Floyd's elbows.
Bayless said he would address any he saw.
At that point I knew Mosley had no shot at winning the fight.
In the second round Shane hit Floyd with shots that should have knocked him out, given his child like chin.
But Floyd held on to Shane.
Bayless allowed Mayweather to hold when he needed to and get his legs back. Mosley punched himself out, but already tense and anxious, had used up his energy in the first three rounds of the fight.
The rest of the fight Floyd used his quickness, defense, and elbow/forearm to dismantle Mosley.
Bayless never took points, or gave any "hard warnings" for Mayweather's elbows.
The same scenario happened in both Judah and Hatton fights.
Both fighters start off on a roll, with the refs eventually shifting control back to Mayweather.
In the Judah fight, Zab had even more speed and power then Mosley. He scored an unofficial knockdown and was overpowering Mayweather. Eventually the most crooked ref in all of sports, Richard Steele, turned the tables for Floyd.
In Mayweather v. Hatten, Ricky fought on the inside and seemed to win the first four or five rounds by smothering Mayweather.
Then, referee Joe Cortez backed Hatton up. He took away his inside game, which allowed Mayweather to pick off the slower fighter and eventually knock him out.
You can call this an advantage for Mayweather, or you could say he is just the smarter fighter who adapted. I'd say it's an unfair advantage that he uses to the best of his abilities—I am not taking anything from his boxing ability at all.
He is a great boxer, but his power is limited and he almost surprises fighters with his quick shots.
His chin is that of a teenage girl, which it should be, since he never gets hit.
I just wish he would've fought the truly great fighters in their prime, and stopped with the excuses.
He retired, not because he was old or had no other fights worth fighting, but because he was ducking and dodging the truly talented fighters.
There are good fighters like Andre Berto, Paul Williams, and the Pac-Man. I believe they all are superior and would give him a serious run for his money.
Andre Berto, being young and having a suspect chin, would be an even fight for him. Paul Williams would destroy him, and Pac-Man would probably knock him out.
So, does he retire now? And if so, where would we rank him?
I would rank both De la Hoya and Mosley over him—at least they went after the competition.
It's too bad Mayweather chose to fight them years after their prime.